Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Archive for January, 2010

Mos Def in town tonight

By awoodall

MOS DEF >>>IN CONCERT 9 pm tonight. The rapper/actor is raising money for  the California Public Education Foundation at the Shattuck Down Low lounge in Berkeley. I think this is like the fourth time he has been in the Bay Area in less than a year, New Parish being the last.

Posted on Friday, January 29th, 2010
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Problem With Dragons @ Victory Warehouse

By awoodall

 Feb. 9th At first I thought “Problem with Dragons @ Victory Warehouse” was the subject line for a City Hall v. East Bay Dragons biker club issue. Their HQ is an East Oakland warehouse…
Instead, Problem with Dragons is an East Coast band whose genre can be summed up as “gigantic, heavy-ass rock tunes.” Well, the group from Easthampton, Mass. is bringing their gigantic, heavy-ass rock tunes to Oakland’s Victory Warehouse on Feb. 9.  24th Street and San Pablo Ave. (916) 444-7914. Show begins 8pm. 16 and over only. problemwithdragons

“The sound of their fuzz bass is like uncovering a vintage MC-5 recording from a Michigan basement, dubbed over a Tijuana Brass cassette with the little plastic safety tabs punched out.”  — Tom Sturm, Valley Advocate.

Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2010
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | 1 Comment »
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Downtown this weekend

By awoodall

After watching Hollywood stars get gigs on the big stage instead of real actors, I nearly cried last night during the preview of TheatreFIRST’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.” Real acting by real actors.  The troupe is still working out the kinks before the Saturday opening but overall the show looks promising, especially actor Andrew Hurteau, “The Player” and head of a traveling Tragedians: Aleph Ayin, Paul Festa, John Hilinski and G. Randall Wright. They and the lead actors managed to convey the wry humor and laughable absurdity Stoppard injected into his script. In other words, they were really really funny. Tonight’s preview performance begins 7:30 p.m.  Saturday is the premier. Speaking of premiers, the Piedmont Piano Co. is hosting a grand opening today beginning at 4 p.m. and lasting all weekend with performances and toasts and pomp and circumstance at the corner of San Pablo and 18th Street. You’ll know the place by the crowds waiting to get into  Hibiscus, part of the entertainment compound filling the old Sweet Jimmie’s spot near City Hall. The adjoining New Parish nightclub started drawing people to the previously forlorn corner when it opened a few months ago. But only late nights. Hibiscus has them showing up in droves from the moment the restaurant opened last week.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” will preview Thursday and Friday. Tickets for those performances are $10. The show opens Jan. 23. Friday is “OSA Day,” when Oakland School for the Arts students will get a firsthand look at the world of professional theater during the performance and an after-show discussion. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 14. Tickets are $25 on Thursdays and $30 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Go to www.theatrefirst.com for special prices for season tickets, patrons younger than 30 and seniors, or call 510-436-5085.

Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2010
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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Haiti benefit concert at Sweet’s Ballroom

By awoodall

It is hard to believe in a higher power when you see Haiti. Who would want to send an earthquake to test Haiti after all the island has been through — from slavery to the Duvaliers, from coups to corruption. So I haven’t been in the mood to think about entertainment because it seems self-indulgent to write about bars or whatever. The closest I came to combining the two is a concert 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at Sweet’s Ballroom: the House Party Tour of Relief, with Singer D’Wayne Wiggins of Tony Toni Tone, Lenny Williams, Too Short, Erk Tha Jerk, The Oakland Interfaith Choir and The Pop Lyfe Project — so far.  All proceeds from the tour will go to the relief efforts in Haiti. Read more…Tickets are $20 minimum at the door.

Posted on Monday, January 18th, 2010
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By awoodall

For days I have been running back and forth reporting stories on everything from mortgage loan modification software to a Cambodian Buddhist temple coup, and from TheatreFIRST’s upcoming show to the murder of Dewey Tucker, bassist for among others Lauryn Hill, The Coup, Kev Choice and Goapele. (Story will is on hold until Saturday online. In the Trib Sunday. Not totally sure why.)  Busy week. Then today the news popped up that Lorenzo Hoopes, who is pro-Prop 8, is a candidate for the Paramount Theatre’s board of directors. The way it popped up in my e-mail: “WTF. Dellums wants to appoint leader of local pro-Prop 8 campaign to Paramount Theater Board. Opposition mounting on Facebook.”
The “Paramount — No place for Homophobia” Facebook page (Sean Sullivan) explains the arrangement better. But just so there is no other mistake: Dellums cannot appoint anyone to the Paramount board.

Posted on Friday, January 15th, 2010
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The Jackie Robinson of Hockey

By awoodall

This Friday, the Oakland Ice Rink will acknowledge Willie O’Ree, the first African American to play in the National Hockey League. I think it’s an Oakland School for the Arts event but thought a mention was due to Mr. O’Ree, the “Jackie Robinson” of hockey. Now that must be an interesting story. He would have to be one very tough guy.

Posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Under: Night Owl | 4 Comments »
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New joint on Broadway

By awoodall

For months it was hard to tell what the incremental signs of activity meant for the old Metro Underworld Operahouse on Broadway and Second. Then the sign “Duke’s R&B” went up in the summer. But not much else happened while the dust gathered on the windows of the 200-person, two-floor “dinner club.” Finally, the new operators filed a cabaret permit today. Actually, they applied again. The original owner, Sam Conti, passed away in November after the first application was filed in May. The new operators are listed as Pacific Brokerage Inc., which is Mohammed, Nazem and Nader Ahmadi as well as Clinton Motta, all of Walnut Creek.  Their hearing is Feb. 18.
Speaking of cabaret permits, you might have noticed the article today in the East Bay Express. I have been writing about this (cabaret laws, ordinances, entertainment commission) for at least a year but it appears to have taken a cockeyed Wall Street Journal article to get the buzz going even though there isn’t really a lot of buzz to buzz about — yet. There will be though, knowing Oakland.
Contrary to the Journal’s article, the changes to the way Oakland does entertainment business has nothing to do with crime and everything to do with the fact that we have enough entertainment to regulate for the first time in decades. So I’ll toast to that while City Hall and the party police tinker. It’s about time.

Posted on Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
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Mad Men party

By awoodall

You have probably already gotten this update from Will The Thrill Viharo but I wanted to pass it on for everyone who is getting the shakes from Mad Men withdrawal: a Sixties, swanky, suave, sexy, sinister and scandalous party.  
WHERE: Kingman’s Ivy Room, 860 San Pablo Ave., Albany
www.kingmanscocktails.com
WHEN: Saturday, January 23, 9PM-2AM, no covermadmen
Episodes of the award-winning AMC television series centering on the lives and times of mid-century Madison Ave.’s  decadent denizens and lascivious lounge lizards will be shown on the bar’s two large television sets. There will be special prizes awarded to the Most Vintage Fashionable guests, as well as era-specific trivia questions, along with swingin’ 60s lounge, soul and rock ‘n’ roll music on the sound system, and best of all, live musical sets by the Bay Area’s theremin lounge band, Space Age specialists PROJECT PIMENTO http://www.projectpimento.com/
Naturally there will be classic cocktail specials to enhance the dreamy retro ambience. The Bay Area’s many hedonistic hipsters are strongly encouraged to attend, mingle, imbibe, and dance.

Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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INTERNATIONAL FREAKOUT A GO-GO

By awoodall

presents…VERY BE CAREFUL at the First Church of the Buzzard. Friday night. What more do you need to know except that it is a night of “ass-shaking” music.
You’ll remember Very Be Careful from a previous  blog entry that I can’t find right now. But you might want the   hours (9PM until  3AM ) and the address: 2601 Adeline @ 26th St. Have fun.

Posted on Thursday, January 7th, 2010
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl | No Comments »
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Elvis unites Oakland

By awoodall

Elvis wants us to love each other so come feel the King’s embrace (uh-huh) Friday night at Godspeed for a celebration of what would have been his 75th birthday: 6 p.m. til’ ambulance.  Children are also invited for the  Elvis-inspired food (peanut butter and banana sandwiches?), elvismusic, pinball,  movies, go-go dancing, prizes, pool and cake. Booze optional for the underage and the designated drivers. Tattoos of the King only $7.50. Brought to you by the Elvis Underground church (“pirate religion and punk spirituality”),  the East Oakland Yacht Klub, Summer of Rust 2010 and the Oakland Pinball Mafia — all keeping Oakland sane and safe from completely turning into a suburban clone. See you all there: 5532 San Pablo Ave.  I might even get another  tattoo. (I find it strange that I already have a category for Elvis on this blog…)

Posted on Thursday, January 7th, 2010
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife | No Comments »
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